This post, the third in a series of 32 covering the entire island, offers a few ideas for things to do on a weekend in Country Carlow. The following is just one sample itinerary based on the information in our book Exploring Ireland: a guide to the Irish outdoors, where you will find plenty more details, ideas and inspiration.
The pretty little lock on the Barrow is the starting point for two signposted trails: the 3.5km Clashganny Lock Loop (green arrows) and the 6km Clashganny Forest Loop (purple arrows).
EXPLORE MOUNT LEINSTER
The highest of the Blackstairs, Mount Leinster looms over the surrounding hills and low‑lying countryside. The 5km (round trip) walk from the Nine Stones carpark (52.6368, -6.7938) up the steep access road to the summit (52.6181, -6.7793) is a tough slog but worth it for the spectacular views.
VISIT BAGENALSTOWN OUTDOOR POOL
Just north of Bagenalstown is a 25m outdoor heated swimming pool. It’s open daily between early June and late August from 11.00 to 12.30, 14.30 to 17.00 and 19.00 to 21.00.
EAT ROYAL OAK DISTILLERY
Surrounded by fields of barley the Royaloak estate on the banks of the Barrow is home to one of Ireland’s largest distilleries which is unique in Ireland as it produces pot still, malt and grain whiskey. Tours of the distillery run throughout the year.
STAY OLD GRAIN STORE COTTAGES
This 18th century canal storehouse was used to store grain and other goods that were transported on the canal from 1760. Recently restored, it has three self‑catering cottages that face into the stable yard (sleeping from 2 to 5).